PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Shares of Unisys Corp. fell nearly 19 percent after the company said its second-quarter earnings declined to $56.3 million, less than half of what it was for the same period a year ago, and missed Wall Street's expectations.

Revenue for the quarter ending June 30 declined 16 percent to $1.6 billion from $1.9 billion over the same three months of 1999.

Unisys blamed the shortfall on the deferral of several large technology contracts and continued weakness in its federal government and financial services businesses. It also said current exchange rates in Europe hurt its revenue in the second quarter and would do the same for the entire year.

The earnings of 18 cents per share, compare to second-quarter 1999 profits of $118 million, or 37 cents per share.

The company had announced in June that it would not meet previous expectations of 37 cents per share for the quarter just ended. The results fell short of revised analyst estimates of 19 cents per share, according to a survey by First Call/Thomson Financial.

``As announced in late June, we have experienced a slower-than-expected rebound in our business over the first half of the year,'' Unisys Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lawrence A. Weinbach said. He said several large contracts the company expected to see late in the quarter were deferred until later in the year.

Unisys also took an after-tax charge of $19.8 million, or 6 cents per share, for the early retirement of nearly $400 million in debt. Including that one-time expense, net income for the quarter was $36.5 million, or 12 cents per share.

Blue Bell-based Unisys sells large-scale computing equipment and related services to business and government clients.

Shares of Unisys fell $2.625, to $11.50 in morning trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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On the Net: http://www.unisys.com